intu operate 16 shopping centres across the UK - including ten of the UK’s top 25 - and the UK's first multichannel transactional shopping centre, intu.co.uk. With 350 million customer visits and over 30 million unique customer visits a year, their scale and specialism gives intu a unique insight into today’s consumer and what they're looking for from their shopping experience. Retail change is accelerating, the path to purchase is becoming more complex and people are blurring the boundaries between shopping, eating and entertainment. Consumer activity and retailer investment is focusing increasingly on top centres which offer a compelling mix of global and national retail brands trading out of flagship stores, combined with a wide choice of places to eat, drink and be sociable. intu’s plans for the future are ambitious and will set the standard for the industry.
To engage with the staff on the ground, management and the board, intu’s Customer Experience team wanted a method of sharing the future plans the company has for growth and for making the customer’s shopping experience totally different. A traditional newsletter was the chosen route. However, rather than presenting what would be developed and rolled out, we created a piece set in 2017 looking back at what had been achieved. This retrospective approach, written in the style of an external publication, was designed to be believable, informative and engaging to the readership, and at the same time clearly laying out the business’ plans for the future.
Livewire created an off-brand design to give the feel of a 3rd party publication rather than an internal one. Editorial content was provided in part by staff who had been asked to write about some of their upcoming plans in the style of them writing to a colleague explaining some of the developments. In addition, some articles were written in the style of the publication’s editor. This content was then edited, along with additional content written by Livewire. To support the content and to create a sense of reality, futuristic ads were also created to add authenticity.
To help make the piece feel genuine, it was printed on newsprint so as to replicate a high volume newspaper. Livewire managed the production of 2,000 eight page tabloid newspapers, and despite the low volumes, traditional newsprint techniques were used. Various quantities were split out and delivered directly to 14 addresses.
Livewire worked with the team at intu to successfully deliver an effective, engaging newsletter that really helped bring intu’s plans for the future to life. Staff identified with the piece thanks to their own contributions and inclusion in the process. The newspaper was delivered directly to sites at a time to coincide with other business planning initiatives.